Friday, December 18, 2009

The significance of Hijrah in Economics

A RELIGION contains within itself entirely all that it needs for its later growth and development. The ‘Hijrah’—migration of Rasulullah s.a.w. and those of his Sahabah r. a. who were ‘the first to lead the way’ from Makkah to Madinah in order to settle down there—was not only an important event but a turning point in the history of Islam which greatly contributed to the progress and generation of Islamic heritage.

In the eyes of the Muslims, the birth of Rasulullah s.a.w. and the beginning of the revelation of the Noble Quran were two events of singular importance but Rasulullah s.a.w. did not acknowledge either of them as the commencing epochs in the Islamic era. The migration of a number of Sahabah r.a. to Abyssinia, too, was not regarded as a milestone of such magnitude.Thus, after Rasulullah s.a.w. having signified the beginning of the calendrical reckoning from Hijrah, the second Khalifah, Sayyidina Umar r.a. made it compulsory for the dates to be inscribed on all official correspondence.[1]

Those who believe and migrate and strive in the Way of Allah can expect Allah’s mercy. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Baqarah 2:218)

Basically the Hijrah institutionalized three important aspects of life: social, economic and political.In the economic aspect we could see that after Hijrah, trade came into contact with agriculture and artisanship resulting in an economic revolution for the place. The Muhaajirs having been taught and reformed by Rasulullah s.a.w. himself for nearly 13 years, were not carefree and irresponsible but God-fearing and righteous. The Ansars helped the Muhaajirs to the extent of being ready to divide all their belonging between themselves and the Muhaajirs. But the Muhaajirs were not prepared to accept a status of mere idle dependants and adopted ways to earn righteously for their own selves.

Those who were already settled in the abode, and in faith, before they came, love those who have migrated to them and do not find in their hearts any need for what they have been given and prefer them to themselves even if they themselves are needy. It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful. (59:9)

Initially, the Muhaajirs worked as laborers in the fields and gardens and construction works. Later they, being traders, started small commercial activities which brought them into an economic competition with the Jews of Madinah. One aspect of the economic revolution was that the Muhaajir traders paid the right price to the growers for their produce since Rasulullah s.a.w. had forbidden the practice of acquiring products on reduced prices in return of loans given to the artisans or to the cultivators.

The Hijrah made the Muslims masters of their internal affairs, external relations and matters relating to war and peace. There was great understanding among the Muslims, for instance, in case a difference occurred between the Muslims and non-Muslims, the final decision was to be made by the Rasulullah s.a.w. This showed that an autonomous Muslim setup was coming into existence. This was a beginning of a city-state which, within a period of ten years, expanded so as to encompass the entire Arabian peninsula. It is thus evident that the event of Hijrah turned a few hundred persons into a highly successful society. The expansion of Muslim dominations during the following centuries is a historical record. All this was possible due to the shaping of events as the result of Hijrah.

“The forerunners–the first of the Migrants (Muhajirun) and the Supporters (Ansar)–and those who have followed them in doing good: Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. He has prepared Gardens for them with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. That is the great victory. (At-Taubah 9:100)

[1] Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum (The Sealed Nectar): Memoirs of the Noble Prophet (pbuh), Issam Diab, trans. (Dar-us-Salam Publishers)

Ibn Yusof

19 December 2009/2 Muharram 1431

2.54 p.m


bobhandburry said...

great articles.. like to read it. keep up the good work.. i support you


Ibn Yusof said...


Thanks bobhandburry or Mr Zuwairi Aiman. Appreciate ur comment.